Although there have been notable strides to improve film production in Zambia in the past decades, the works leave a great deal to be desired; especially with those who operate behind the scenes. Perhaps many producers lack education in film production, but you will be happy to know that there is a school right here in Zambia where you can learn filmmaking and elevate your productions to international standards. This school is SOTAMBE Film Institute. The first class graduated in 2021 while enrollment for the second intake is underway.
I had an opportunity to look at a soft copy of their flier and learned something vital that I am glad to share. Here is a reproduction of the information therein verbatim: –
The Certificate Programme in Filmmaking lays the foundation of the much-needed film School in the country. The 10-month certificate programme in filmmaking has been designed by the SOTAMBE Film Institute (Kitwe) in partnership with the Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM) in Lusaka.
The programme focuses on all aspects of filmmaking. Students will receive a clear understanding of what it takes to be a filmmaker and will be able to pass through all the stages in the filmmaking process (preproduction, production and post-production). This will enable them to produce a number of their own short films and an award-worthy short film as their Graduation project during their studies. In addition, students will pass through one-month industrial attachment in various production and media houses.
The programme aims to equip students with key skills to understand the whole process of film production. It was established through the collaboration between SOTAMBE Film Institute and ZAMCOM. Classes are therefore offered in both Lusaka and Ndola.
“Film Industry in Zambia is growing and has tremendous potential for the job creation and massive GDP contribution. It is, therefore, necessary to create a network of academic qualifications with an emphasis on the skills training in the field of filmmaking that shall be offered in various provinces in the country. Decentralization is absolutely key for the expansion of the industry and as SFI we are more than happy to collaborate with ZAMCOM offering such an important programme on the copperbelt,” said Martina Mwanza, Managing Director of the SOTAMBE Film Institute.
Individual courses are taught by the industry professionals with academic qualifications. At the same time, we will be hosting Guest Lecturers from the Zambian film scene, as well as virtual sessions with international filmmakers.
The Memorandum of Understanding between SOTAMBE and ZAMCOM was signed last year and ZAMCOM is ready for the second graduation ceremony. Having put all logistics in place, the programme is also now ready for student’s registration in Kitwe by the SOTAMBE Film Institute at the Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation.
ZAMCOM Executive Director, Mr. Peter Shula is very pleased with the progress made and has assured the opening of the March and May intakes in Kitwe and Lusaka respectively. “ZAMCOM is pleased to have successfully graduated the first cohort of film students in November 2021 and we are confident that our partners in Kitwe will also have a positive response in the March intake. ZAMCOM is expecting a new set of film students again in May this year.”
In the meantime, the NAMA President Bridget Malumba said: “The answer to the challenges being experienced in the media arts lie in the industry and its members. If only we can open up and work together through collaboration. That’s why the Memorandum of Understanding between ZAMCOM and SOTAMBE Film Institute to provide training and certification to members in the sector elates me and my executive. Capacity building is the key to film development in Zambia, let’s continue to come up with initiatives that will strengthen our value chain and foster growth in Media Arts. My Executive and I hope and pledge to support this great initiative and encourage our members to take advantage of this opportunity.”
That is the message in the flier. No doubt, the education that has been lacking is now present. Why not make a dash for it?